Caribbean Life’s sports writer Patrick Horne says his “service” to the community started with his late parents in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Horne, along with community worker Ancilla Friday, was honored by the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), the umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, during its annual gala Luncheon, at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, commemorating the country’s 38th anniversary of political independence from Great Britain.
“Since ‘giving, offering service’ to enhance lives is always the theme of this annual affair, there is much to be said about this act of offering ‘service’ to others,” said Horne, who hails from the town of Layou in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in his acceptance speech. “For me, it started with my parents — Elise and Everard Horne. “Both were public servants; my mother was a nurse and my father a policeman. Growing up in Layou, this was all that I saw of my parents — public service.”
Horne said his mother delivered babies born in the areas from Layou to Buccament Bay to Vermont and the surrounding areas.
“She was supposed to charge fee, but never did,” he said. “Her salary certainly didn’t parallel her duties, but she was still up at 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., 6: a.m., and ready when duty called. She went beyond the call of that duty; she was there because she was a servant of the people.
“I would meet folks in Brooklyn who remind me of what a great woman Nurse Horne was, and that they still owe her money for delivering their babies,” Horne added. “After work, she volunteered as the church organist in the Layou Anglican Church; she was there for services, funerals, weddings and other special services. Every Sunday, I had the job of braving the midday hot sun to take the lunch she prepared to the rectory for the priests — the last two were Rev. Lewis, Rev. Ulric Smith.”
Horne said his father was also a very hard worker. After leaving the local constabulary, where part of his responsibility was to “drill the police,” he worked at the Agriculture Department, and was an entrepreneur.
“He employed many in Layou, because he had his businesses, packaging and selling whole chickens to stores throughout St. Vincent [and the Grenadines],” Horne said. “He also sold ground cocoa, passion fruit juice and other products — all this on a tired body on a day after he traveled around the country as an agriculturist.
“His Land Rover jeep was filled with Layou folks, and others along the way, on a week-day morning, with those who had to get to school in Kingstown [the capital] and others who just simply had to get to town for work,” Horne said, adding that his dad was the first to show movies in Layou — Sunday afternoon in a big hall right next door to Alston Becket’s [the calysonian] home, near Velox Corner on the Layou main road.
“I saw my parents on a daily basis just helping others, and I followed suit,” Horne continued. “I had the opportunity to give youngsters soccer scholarships to get an education and improve their lives, and made sure that I helped many Vincentians. And it’s tremendous gratification for me to know that I played a part in making life better for others.”
He said the Vincy Cup was a tournament that he started in Brooklyn to help Vincentian footballers [soccer players] “build character, get to college or the pros, and develop life skills and go on from there.”
Horne said his work as a print and broadcast journalist is “noted,” stating that he wrote “the longest cricket column in an American main stream newspaper as a columnist for Newsday, Inc.
“And I still mentor student-athletes as women’s soccer coach at Brooklyn College — and as a teacher at Hempstead HS, I lecture them about life skills every day,” he interjected.
Horne said he tried to offer his service to improve football [soccer] in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2011, when he unsuccessfully ran for the president of the football federation.
“It didn’t work out at the time, but I still entertain thoughts of helping, because sports today can do so much for those involved — there are scholarships to be gotten, professional careers, administrative jobs and so forth,” he said.
Subsequently, Horne said he later helped the St. Vincent and the Grenadines national team make “all the arrangements for their practices and hotel stay for a week, while they were in St. Louis, Missouri to play the USA in the early rounds of the 2018 World Cup qualifying run in 2015.”
He said offering service in one’s areas of expertise to enhance another person’s life, “to improve the quality of life in our communities, to improve conditions in our country would give us unparalleled satisfaction — I believe this.
“People remember how you make them feel; and, when you help, you make them feel good about themselves,” he said. “This is the resulting effect of helping. They will never forget what you did for them.
“So, we must continue to offer our service, to help others, so that those we help will do the same for others, and those others will do the same for those others and so on,” he urged.
Horne said he was glad that his children followed in the footsteps of their grandparents. He said his son, Jason, is “a product of the NY Teaching Fellows program; he is a mathematics, Spanish and chess teacher in the New York City Public Schools system.
“My daughter served three years in the Peace Corp and one year with Ameri Corp, and is now in Columbia University graduate school for Public Administration,” he said.
“So let’s continue to help one another, to help our communities here in the Diaspora and let us help our country,” he added. “Specifically, to Vincentians, let’s not let individual differences deter us; let’s not let the area of the country that is your birthplace deter us; let’s not let differences in political party affiliation distract us.
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines is more than any one political party,” he continued. “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is about our people. It’s been 38 years of independence, but we still have so far to go as a country. Let’s help St. Vincent and the Grenadines get there.”